Sake Dean Mahomed: The Man Who Brought Shampooing to Great Britain

Sake Dean Mahomed

Shake Dean Mahomed (actual Urdu name: Sheikh Din Muhammad) was a famous Indian shampoo surgeon and restaurateur who holds the honour of being one of the first non-European immigrants who were embraced by the Western World. As it was common at that time, his actual Urdu name’s spelling was modified to make it easier for Britishers to pronounce it so Sheikh Din Muhammad became Sake Dean Mahomed (alongwith numerous other iterations). This legendary Indian immigrant holds the honour of introducing Indian cuisine and shampoo baths to Europeans. He also holds the distinction of being the first Indian to publish a book in English. Let’s find out more about this amazing individual.

Sake Dean Mahomed: All You Need to Know

When was Sake Dean Mahomed born?

Sake Dean Mahomed was born on January 15th, 1749 in the ancient city of Patna. The current capital of the Indian state of Bihar was a part of British India’s Bengal Presidency at that time. Sake Dean Mahomed’s parents were Bengali muslims who were allegedly related to Bengal’s Nawabs. Sake Dean Mahomed also claimed that he had ancestors who worked in administrative service under the Mughal Emperors. He belonged to the Maniharzada caste, and had studied alchemy and understood the methods used to produce various alkalis, soaps and shampoo.

Where did Sake Dean Mahomed grow up?

Sake Dean Mahomed grew up in the city of Patna. Unfortunately, his father passed away while serving for the East India Company’s Bengal army when Mahomed was just 11 years old. Captain Godfrey Evan Baker took Deam Mahomed under his wings after his father died. Dean Mahomed fought with the East India’s Company army as a trainee surgeon during the company’s conquest of the Marathas. Mahomed remained with Captain Baker until 1782, when the Captain resigned. That same year, Mahomed also resigned from the Army, choosing to accompany Baker, ‘his best friend’, to Ireland.

When did Sake Dean Mahomed leave India?

In 1784, Sake Dean Mahomed left India with the Baker family and emigrated to Cork, Ireland. There he studied to improve his English language skills at a local school.

Who did Sake Dean Mahomed marry?

While improving his English skills, Sake Dean Mahomed fell in love with Jane Daly, a “pretty Irish girl of respectable parentage”. As it could be expected at that time, Jane Daly’s family was strictly against the union and the couple was forced to elope and get married in 1786. Mahomed and Daly were married in the Diocese of Cork & Ross in Cork, Ireland. In order to marry Jane Daly, Sake Dean Mahomed had to leave his Islamic faith and convert to Anglicanism. He had to specifically convert to Anglicanism since Protestants were legally prevented from marrying non-Protestants. They moved to 7 Little Ryder Street in London, England, at the turn of the 19th century.”

How many children did Sake Dean Mahomed have?

According to leading scholars, and as indicated by parish records in London, Mahomed conducted a bigamous marriage in Marylebone in 1806 to Jane Jeffreys (1780-1850); the banns were read on 24 August for Jane and “William Mahomet.” He had a daughter, Amelia (b. 1808) with her and is listed as the father “William Dean Mahomet” in the parish register. Amelia was baptised on 11 June 1809 at St Marylebone, Westminster, in London. By his legal wife, Sake Dean Mahomed had seven children: Rosanna, Henry, Horatio, Frederick, Arthur, and Dean Mahomed (baptised in the Roman Catholic church of St. Finbarr’s, Cork, in 1791)

His son, Frederick, was a proprietor of Turkish baths at Brighton and also ran a boxing and fencing academy near Brighton. His most famous grandson, Frederick Henry Horatio Akbar Mahomed (c. 1849–1884), became an internationally known physician and worked at Guy’s Hospital in London. He made important contributions to the study of high blood pressure. Another of Sake Dean Mahomed’s grandsons, Rev. James Kerriman Mahomed, was appointed as the vicar of Hove, Sussex, in the late 19th century.

What is the name of Sake Dean Mahomed’s book?

Sake Dean Mahomed’s book The Travels of Dean Mahomet

On 15 January 1794, Mahomed published his travel book, entitled The Travels of Dean Mahomet. The book is in epistolary form as was common for travel books and many novels in that era and consists of 38 letters. The book begins with a brief introduction where he contrasts Ireland and India, writing that “the face of every thing about me [is] so contrasted to those striking scenes in India” and proceeds to give a sketch of his early years. He then describes his travels over the period 1770 to 1775 as a camp follower to the Bengal army as it moved around North East India. A series of military conflicts are described along with descriptions of some major cities, including Kolkata (Calcutta) and Varanasi (Benares). This is accompanied by first hand accounts of Indian culture, trade, military conflicts, food, wildlife, etc. The book concludes with a description of Mahomed’s voyage to Britain where he arrived at Dartmouth in September 1784. While Mahomed gives an insightful and sympathetic account of India and Indian customs, as Mona Narain points out this is done from an essentially European cultural perspective – he consistently uses the pronoun “we” to describe himself and Europeans, and does not in his writings seek to challenge poor governmental management within the East India Company. The historian Michael Fisher, who published a biographical essay to accompany an edition of the book, suggested that some passages in the book were closely paraphrased from other travel narratives written in the late 18th century.

Who opened England’s first Indian restaurant?

Sake Dean Mahomed opened London’s first ever Indian Restaurant, the Hindoostane Coffee House in George Street, near Portman Square, Central London. The restaurant’s highlights were hookah “with real chilm tobacco, and authentic (or as authentic as they could be) Indian dishes. The curries made in Deam Mahomed’s restaurant were considered unparalleled and unequalled by any curry ever made in England. The landmark restaurant had to close because of financial troubles but it heralded the start of a new era where “curry houses” have become as British as the pub these days.

Who introduced shampooing to England?

Prior to his restaurant business in London, Dean Mahomed worked in London for nabob, Basil Cochrane, who had installed a steam bath for public use in his house in Portman Square and promoted its medical benefits. 

Dean Mahomed is widely credited as the person who brought the tradition of Indian massage, or “champooing” to Great Britain. The term soon transformed into “shampooing”. In 1814, Mahomed and his wife moved back to Brighton and opened the first commercial “shampooing” vapour masseur bath in England, on the site now occupied by the Queen’s Hotel. A local paper described the treatment as “The Indian Medicated Vapour Bath (a type of Turkish bath), a cure to many diseases and giving full relief when everything fails; particularly Rheumatic and paralytic, gout, stiff joints, old sprains, lame legs, aches and pains in the joints”.This business was an immediate success and Dean Mahomed became known as “Dr. Brighton”. Hospitals also started sending patients to him and he even worked as the shampooing surgeon for the British Royalty.

Did Sake Dean Mahomed write books on shampooing?

The literary critic Muneeza Shamsie notes that Mahomed wrote two books connected to his burgeoning trade. The first was Cases Cured by Sake Deen Mahomed, Shampooing Surgeon, and Inventor of the Indian Medicated Vapour and Sea-Water Bath (1820), while the second, Shampooing; or, benefits resulting from the use of the Indian medicated vapour bath, went through three editions (1822, 1826, 1838) and was dedicated to King George IV. In this work, Mahomed speaks of the initial resistance to the idea of shampooing among the English he encountered in his new country: “It is not in the power of any individual to give unqualified satisfaction, or to attempt to establish a new opinion without the risk of incurring the ridicule, as well as censure, of some portion of mankind. So it was with me: in the face of indisputable evidence, I had to struggle with doubts and objections raised and circulated against my Bath, which, but for the repeated and numerous cures affected by it, would long since have shared the common fate of most innovations in science.”

When did Sake Dean Mahomed die?

Sake Dean Mahomed’s headstone in Brighton

Sake Dean Mahomed passed away on February 24th 1851 at 32 Grand Parade, Brighton. He had turned 92 a little over a month before his death. He was buried in a grave at St Nicholas Church, Brighton, in which his son Frederick was later interred. Frederick taught fencing, gymnastics and other activities in Brighton at a gymnasium he built on the town’s Church Street.

What is Sake Dean Mahomed’s legacy?

By the Victorian period, Sake Dean Mahomed had begun to lose prominence as a public figure and until the scholarly interventions of the last fifty years was largely forgotten by history. The modern renewal of interest in his writings developed after poet and scholar Alamgir Hashmi drew attention to this author in the 1970s and 1980s. A book on Sheikh Dean Mahomed was written by Michael H. Fisher and it was titled “The First Indian Author in English: Dean Mahomed in India, Ireland, and England”. The book was published by the Oxford University Press (OUP). Additionally, Rozina Visram’s Ayahs, Lascars and Princes: The Story of Indians in Britain 1700–1947 (1998) was highly influential in drawing public attention to Mahomed’s life and work.

Several commemorations of and tributes to Mahomed’s legacy have taken place in the 21st century. On 29 September 2005 the City of Westminster unveiled a Green Plaque commemorating the opening of the Hindoostane Coffee House. The plaque is at 102 George Street, close to the original site of the coffee house at 34 George Street. On 15 January 2019. 

Sake Dean Mahomed’s plaque in Westminster

A man of many talents, Sake Dean Mahomed was an entrepreneur who made a name for himself by building cultural connections between India and England. On this day in 1794, he became the first Indian author to publish a book in English and later, to open an Indian restaurant in England—ushering in what would become one of Great Britain’s most popular cuisines. Mahomed went on to find success as the “The Shampooing Surgeon of Brighton,” opening a spa in the British seaside town that attracted the rich and royal.

In celebration of Sake Dean Mahomed’s life, Google released a doodle on January 15th, 2019. This is what the Google Doodle Blog said:

“In 1810, after moving to London, Mahomed opened the Hindostanee Coffee House, Britain’s first Indian restaurant. The Epicure’s Almanack—an early London restaurant guide—hailed it as a place for nobility to enjoy hookah and Indian dishes of the highest perfection. Nonetheless, Mahomed was forced to close his luxurious restaurant in 1812 and sought to reinvent himself. 

Moving his family to the beachside town of Brighton, he opened a spa named Mahomed’s Baths offering luxurious herbal steam baths. His specialty was a combination of a steam bath and an Indian therapeutic massage—a treatment he named “shampooing” inspired by the Hindi word champissage meaning “a head massage.” He also published a book about the therapeutic benefits of the treatment with testimonials from his patients. In 1822, King George IV appointed Mahomed as his personal ‘shampooing surgeon’, which greatly improved his business. A portrait of Mahomed hangs in the Brighton Museum, commemorating this man who helped merge the cultures of his two homelands.

Happy Birthday, Sake Dean Mahomed!”

Sheik Din Muhammad (Bengali: শেখ দীন মোহাম্মদ; 1749–1851) was an Indian explorer, specialist and business visionary who was one of the most striking early non-European outsiders toward the Western World. Due to his unfamiliar inception, his name is frequently spelled different routes in English documentation. He presented Indian food and cleanser showers to Europe, where he offered helpful massage. He was likewise the primary Indian to distribute a book in English.

“insofar as the Sepoy’s keep up their arrangements, which they call ‘lines,’ they resemble a steady well of lava regurgitating ordnance and rifle discharge like persistent hail on the foe, and they are only from time to time vanquished.”

Mahomet 1794

Conceived in c. May 1749 in the city of Patna then aspect of the Bengal Presidency in British India. He was from a Bengali Muslim family. He professed to be identified with the Nawabs of Bengal, and that he had progenitors who worked in managerial assistance under the Mughal Emperors. He had a place with the Maniharzada station , and had considered speculative chemistry and perceived the strategies used to create different soluble bases, cleansers and shampoo.

Purpose Dean Mahomed experienced childhood in Patna. His dad served in the East India Company’s Bengal Army and kicked the bucket in fight when Mahomed was around eleven years old. Following his dad’s passing, he was taken under the wing of Captain Godfrey Evan Baker, an Anglo-Irish Protestant official. Mahomed served in the multitude of the East India Company as a learner specialist and served against the Marathas. Mahomed stayed with Captain Baker until 1782, when the Captain surrendered. That very year, Mahomed additionally left the Army, deciding to go with Baker, ‘his closest companion’, to Ireland.

Grown-up life and Family

In 1784, Mahomed emigrated to Cork, Ireland, with the Baker family. There he concentrated to improve his English language aptitudes at a neighborhood school, and went gaga for Jane Daly, a “pretty Irish young lady of good parentage”. The Daly family was against their relationship, so the couple ran off to another town to get hitched in 1786. Mahomed and Daly were hitched in the Diocese of Cork and Ross in Cork, Ireland. around then it was unlawful for Protestants to wed non-Protestants, so Mahomed changed over to Anglicanism to wed Jane Daly (1761-1844). They moved to 7 Little Ryder Street in London, England, at the turn of the nineteenth century.”

As per driving researchers, and as demonstrated by ward records in London, Mahomed led a bigamous marriage in Marylebone in 1806 to Jane Jeffreys (1780-1850); the banns were perused on 24 August for Jane and “William Mahomet.” He had a girl, Amelia (b. 1808) by her and is recorded as the dad “William Dean Mahomet” in the area register. Amelia was absolved on 11 June 1809 at St Marylebone, Westminster, in London.[16] By his lawful spouse, Sake Dean Mahomed had seven youngsters: Rosanna, Henry, Horatio, Frederick, Arthur,[8] and Dean Mahomed (sanctified through water in the Roman Catholic church of St. Finbarr’s, Cork, in 1791).

His child, Frederick, was an owner of Turkish showers at Brighton and furthermore ran a boxing and fencing institute close to Brighton. His most well known grandson, Frederick Henry Horatio Akbar Mahomed (c. 1849–1884), turned into a globally known physician and worked at Guy’s Hospital in London. He made significant commitments to the investigation of high blood pressure. Another of Sake Dean Mahomed’s grandsons, Rev. James Kerriman Mahomed, was named as the vicar of Hove, Sussex, in the late nineteenth century.

The Travels of Dean Mahomet

On 15 January 1794, Mahomed distributed his travel guide, entitled The Travels of Dean Mahomet. The book is in epistolary structure as was regular for travel guides and numerous books in that period and comprises of 38 letters. The book starts with a concise presentation where he differentiates Ireland and India, composing that “the essence of every little thing about me so differentiated to those striking scenes in India.” and continues to give a sketch of his initial years. He at that point portrays his movements over the period 1770 to 1775 as a camp devotee to the Bengal armed force as it moved around North East India. A progression of military clashes are depicted alongside portrayals of some significant urban communities, including Kolkata (Calcutta) and Varanasi (Benares). This is joined by direct records of Indian culture, exchange, military clashes, food, untamed life, etc. The book closes with a portrayal of Mahomed’s journey to Britain where he showed up at Dartmouth in September 1784. While Mahomed gives a savvy and thoughtful record of India and Indian traditions, as Mona Narain calls attention to this is done from a basically European social viewpoint – he reliably utilizes the pronoun “we” to portray himself and Europeans, and doesn’t in his compositions try to challenge poor legislative administration inside the East India Company. The history specialist Michael Fisher, who distributed an anecdotal article to go with a release of the book, recommended that a few sections in the book were firmly summarized from other travel accounts written in the late eighteenth century.

1794 Frontispiece of Dean Mahomet’s Travels

Café adventure

Plaque recognizing Mahomed’s café

In 1810, subsequent to moving to London, Sake Dean Mahomed opened the principal Indian eatery in England: the Hindoostane Coffee House in George Street, close to Portman Square, Central London. The café offered, among different things, hookah “with genuine chilm tobacco, and Indian dishes, … permitted by the best epicures to be unmatched to any curries ever constructed in England.” This endeavor reached a conclusion because of budgetary difficulties.

Acquaintance of shampooing with Europe

Prior to opening his café, Mahomed had worked in London for nabob, Basil Cochrane, who had introduced a steam shower for public use in his home in Portman Square and advanced its health advantages. Mahomed may have been answerable for presenting the act of champooi or “shampooing” (or Indian back rub) there. In 1814, Mahomed and his significant other moved back to Brighton and opened the primary business “shampooing” fume masseur shower in England, on the site presently involved by the Queen’s Hotel. He portrayed the treatment in a nearby paper as “The Indian Medicated Vapor Bath (sort of Turkish shower), a fix to numerous maladies and giving full alleviation when everything fizzles; especially Rheumatic and incapacitated, gout, firm joints, old injuries, faltering legs, a throbbing painfulness in the joints”.[26] This business was a prompt achievement and Dean Mahomed got known as “Dr. Brighton”. Emergency clinics alluded patients to him and he was delegated as shampooing specialist to both King George IV and William IV.

Mahomed’s Baths, Brighton, 1826

The scholarly pundit Muneeza Shamsie noticed that Mahomed composed two books associated with his expanding trade. The originally was Cases Cured by Sake Deen Mahomed, Shampooing Surgeon, and Inventor of the Indian Medicated Vapor and Sea-Water Bath (1820), while the second, Shampooing; or, advantages coming about because of the utilization of the Indian cured fume shower, experienced three releases (1822, 1826, 1838) and was devoted to King George IV. In this work, Mahomed discusses the underlying protection from shampooing among the English he experienced in his new nation: “It isn’t in the intensity of any person to give inadequate fulfillment, or to endeavor to build up another sentiment without the danger of causing the derision, just as blame, of some part of humankind. So it was with me: despite undeniable proof, I needed to battle with questions and complaints raised and flowed against my Bath, which, however for the rehashed and various fixes affected by it, would since a long time ago have shared the basic destiny of most advancements in science.”

Demise

Mahomed was covered at St Nicholas’ Church, Brighton.

Mahomed passed on 24 February 1851 (matured 91–92) at 32 Grand Parade, Brighton. He was covered in a grave at St Nicholas Church, Brighton, in which his child Frederick was later entombed. Frederick showed fencing, acrobatic and different exercises in Brighton at a recreation center he based on the town’s Church Street.

Acknowledgment

By the Victorian time frame, Sake Dean Mahomed had started to lose noticeable quality as a well known person and until the academic intercessions of the most recent fifty years was generally overlooked by history. The advanced recharging of enthusiasm for his compositions created after artist and researcher Alamgir Hashmi caused to notice this creator during the 1970s and 1980s. Michael H. Fisher has composed a book on Sheik Dean Mahomet entitled The First Indian Author in English: Dean Mahomed in India, Ireland, and England (Oxford University Press, Delhi, 1996). Moreover, Rozina Visram’s Ayahs, Lascars and Princes: The Story of Indians in Britain 1700–1947 (1998) was exceptionally compelling in causing public to notice Mahomed’s life and work.

A few remembrances of and accolades for Mahomed’s heritage have occurred in the 21st century. On 29 September 2005 the City of Westminster divulged a Green Plaque celebrating the kickoff of the Hindoostane Coffee House. The plaque is at 102 George Street, near the first site of the café at 34 George Street. On 15 January 2019, Google perceived Sake Dean Mahomed with a Google Doodle on the principle page.

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